Posts Tagged ‘str horizon’

Steamboat Losses

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Georgetown steamboat captains and owners littered the inland waterways with their steamboat wrecks.   The boats lost on various inland rivers when owned by a Georgetown captain follow:



      Georgetown (1855 snagged)
      Amelia Poe (1868 snagged)
      Ida Stockdale (1871 crushed by ice)
      Feerless (1882 sunk)


      Glaucus (1852 fire)
      Horizon (1862 CivWar collision)
      Nick Wall (1870 snagged)
      Glencoe (1877 snagged)



      Belmont (1859 fire)
      Mollie Ebert (1875 fire)



      Clara Poe (1865 CivWar arson)  



      John B Gordon (1851 snagged)


Other boats once owned and operated by Georgetown men were lost, snagged or burned after they had been sold have not been added to the list.



Copyright © 2013 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

National Archives Trip 5

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Last Thursday (6 Sep 2012), I spent another afternoon and early evening at the National Archives in DC.  I reviewed the Certificates of Enrollment records (Record Group 41) from 3 Jan 1859 through 23 Dec 1862 (Volumes 6641-6644).  Sadly, volumes 6643 and 6644 were water damaged.  Their condition was disastrous.  For many entries the ink was completely washed out and incomprehensible.  I know not whether a conservator could recover the data.  In addition to the ruined volumes, there was no volume for the year 1862.  This catastrophe is a dreadful loss because the time frame extends through the period of the Civil War when approximately fifty percent of the civilian steamboats impressed or chartered for service on the western rivers by the US Army Quartermaster were built in the Pittsburgh region. 


Enrollment Record in Volume 6643 (F Nash 6 Sep 2012)

Enrollment Record in Volume 6643 (F Nash 6 Sep 2012)


Enrollment Record from Volume 6644 (Fnash 6 Sep 2012)

Enrollment Record from Volume 6644 (Fnash 6 Sep 2012)

On a more positive note, I found two (2) new keel boats built by  Georgetown rivermen.  The last of these unexpected discoveries was built by HW Laughlin in Industry, PA and registered on 1 May 1861.  This discovery should dispel some illusions that keel boats were quickly displaced by the technological superior steamboats.  Low water was the spur of necessity that favored the keel boat to this late date.


Only twenty-eight volumes of the Certificates of Enrollment for Pittsburgh to review before my National Archives research will be complete.  That said, since I last viewed the Vessel File (Record Group 92), I have discovered that I have doubled the number of steamboats from Georgetown.  In addition to the Vessel File, I was pointed to the Index of Claims for the Army Quartermaster.  There was an index entry for Thomas S Calhoon (str Horizon), but none for Thomas Poe or Jacob Poe (str Clara Poe).   If time permits, I will also review the Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the office of the Quartermaster general – Part 1 Vessel records. 

The National Archives is a fascinating place to explore rare and monumental artifacts.




Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

CivWar150 6 Apr 1862

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Still owned by Capt Jackman T Stockdale, the str Horizon was pressed into Civil War duty serving at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River on Apr 6-7, 1862. Also in 1862 with a number of other Pittsburgh based boats, the Horizon was called to the Cumberland River to relieve sick and wounded soldiers. [1]



[1] Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 217.

Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved



Boats in the Civil War

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The following list of steamers owned by the Georgetown captains summarizes their Civil War activity.  According to the Gibsons’ dictionary six boats were listed at Shiloh.  Two others were chartered during the correct period and were listed at Vicksburg in 1863 so I assume they were also at Pittsburg Landing.    The Neptune crashed into the Clarksville Bridge on 19 Mar 1862 so she may not have been transporting to troops and supplies to Shiloh battlefield.  I may be incorrect.   The Melnotte was not chartered until 1 Apr 1863 so I have no evidence that she participated in the movement of troops in support of Shiloh.  Gibson’s Dictionary does indicate that the Melnotte transported troops and artillery to counter Morgan’s Raiders who had crossed the Ohio River in Jul 1863.  

                          Listed in
Steamer    Gibsons   Way   Shiloh       Owner/Capt      

Argyle              Y               Y          Y             Jacob Poe
Clara Poe          Y               Y          Y             Thomas W Poe
Ella                   Y              Y        Chart          Adam Poe
Horizon             Y              Y         Y             JT Stockdale
Jacob Poe         Y              Y          Y              Jacob Poe          
Kenton              Y              Y         Chart          George W Ebert
Leonora            Y              Y         Chart           Richard Calhoon
Melnotte          Y              Y         N               Richard Calhoon 
Neptune            Y              Y           ?              Adam Poe      
Yorktown         Y             Y           Y               Jacob Poe        

The Yorktown is a mystery.  According to Way’s Directory, she was not put into service till 1863.  Gibson’s Dictionary has the Yorktown in Pittsburg Landing in 1862.  I do not know who is correct.  Maybe another source will confirm its participation?!?


The Georgetown captains and their crews were civilians.  Whether impressed or chartered by the Quartermaster, the subject of military transport by civilian crews generated legal problems in the area of discipline, pay, handling of prisoners, eligibility for pensions, etc.  There was discernible friction between the military and civilian regulatory agencies.   From my reading, a civilian streamer, especially if impressed, was not a good business proposition.


Part history, part puzzle?